Surviving and thriving during busy season

The year is wrapping up which means work is ramping up for trainers and instructors. Soon the New Year messaging will start to infiltrate our feeds and you’ll likely notice a bump in attendance at your classes. We checked in with two Recess trainers, Amy and Caleb, to get their take on how fitness professionals can navigate this season successfully for both their business and their wellbeing.

Plan for change

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Amy Landers is a fitness industry veteran of over 25 years and the first thing she reminds trainers is you, the instructor, are running a business.  It might not be the most exciting part of the job but she insists that if you get “clear on planning and goal setting for the business” you’ll have a better year. The influx of clients and shifting schedules of the holidays can be destabilizing, but only if you’re unprepared.

We can’t be offhand with our clients - we need to remember the space we hold - we are the highlight of someone’s day,” says Amy. If you have a plan for the year or quarter, then you’re able to support clients in planning for their goals. She suggests including an accountability piece into your workflow where you check in with people that were there in January to support them in continuing to show up by April. Ultimately helping people stay connected for longer periods of time with what you offer is a win-win for their goals and your business.  

Caleb is a Crossfit and Strength & Conditioning coach in the Bay Area. He tackles the busy season the same way he “would any workout, with plan A and plan B.” Instead of fighting it, he knows to “hunker down and accept it’s going to be busy.” He makes sure to incorporate weekly check-ins with clients so everyone knows what’s happening on both sides and there aren’t surprises.

If you’re changing or updating your offerings during the holidays or for the new year- focus on the positives, not what you’re taking away. “With good PR and notification you can use this as an opportunity to do something different” offers Amy. Incentivize people to make the shift with you through specialty offerings, prizes, charity classes, and more.

Self-Care for Success

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“Self-care is a balance for those of us in this business” and Amy is constantly getting clear on what is supporting and sustaining her. “It’s the balance of physical recovery and mental rejuvenation- staying reset and able to inspire others” that matters most when you’re continuously giving to others. Here are a couple of tips from her to add to your toolbox,

  • “I am a big believer in a tiny nap” A 20-minute nap can be a great antidote to an energy dip between classes.
  • Experiment with your days off. Amy loves two consecutive days to really decompress.
  • Use a meditation app in between clients, like Insight Timer or Headspace, to give your mind and eyes a break.
  • Find a way to get outside that works for you and keep it in your weekly rotation.

For Caleb, he likes to “have some kind of competition in the books to stay motivated and moving” towards personal goals. That helps to ensure he’s maintaining his personal workout routines and taking care of himself. He took a social media break “to reevaluate, be better with scheduling, and have more focused time on the important things.”

A piece of advice from a friend that’s always stood out for Amy is- “pro-athletes they have pre-season, season, postseason, and recovery” all mapped out for them in advance. Often trainers are “in season” all the time and only take a break when they get sick or injured. While you’re planning your year ahead, see if you can proactively build in rest and vacation to ensure you can be at 100% when you’re with clients. It takes practice and experience to hone the self-care routines that support you.  

Build for Growth

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A great tip Amy offers- “every time you teach a group class, you need to share that you offer personal training,” privates, corporates, or whatever is relevant to you. It doesn’t have to be a sales pitch each time, but it’s important to let clients know how they can work with you in other formats. This is a powerful way to expand your business without an additional marketing effort.

She loves to show support to her fellow trainers and encourages her clients to train with others if she’s traveling or needs to make a last-minute change. “We as Recess instructors can promote that vibe” of “when I’m gone you should take xx class.” Partnerships and connections with others can help expand your audience and create a solid foundation for you as a solopreneur when things come up.  

The biggest takeaway from the year that Caleb is bringing forward into this busy time- “adapt or die.” He found that “being open-minded and adapting to the changes” helped him grow his business and discover opportunities he’d never considered before. He suggests to get clear on your schedule and actively “notice where you’re spending a lot of time and where you can better use it.”  That awareness creates room for you to grow and get creative.

We hope this helps you take a critical look at how you’re moving into the busiest season and the new year. Virtual training lets you get “back in touch with the degree in which we make a difference in people’s lives,” says Amy and we couldn’t agree more.

Check out Amy’s virtual training style and her classes at https://recess.tv/@welcometoamyland.

Follow along with Caleb’s virtual journey at https://recess.tv/@calebjohnson.

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